Oklahoma defends softball title with 5-4 win over Florida

Wednesday, 07 Jun, 2017

Oklahoma won the game 5-4, and th. Parker pitched 6 2/3 innings of relief.

Oklahoma softball's hitting and home field advantage proved too much for Florida at the Women's College World Series.

The game was so long, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" was sung an unprecedented three times - in the bottom of the fifth, 10th and 15th innings.

The 10th-seeded Sooners (60-9) have shown remarkable resiliency throughout the entire NCAA Tournament, but it often has come in a walk-off manner.

In addition to its impressive postseason run, Florida clinched its third straight SEC regular season championship, the first team in league history to accomplish that feat.

In the end, Oklahoma found a way.

After being no-hit for four innings by reliever Delanie Gourley, OU recorded its first hit off the southpaw, a Shay Knighten double, to lead off the 12th.

"I still can not believe that this happened, with where we started and where we finished", Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso said. The Gators responded immediately with three runs in the top of the second inning to chase Sooners ace Paige Parker and suggest there would be softball to play Wednesday night in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma opted for Paige Parker to start the game after throwing 108 pitches last night, and she battled her way to a scoreless first inning. They were down a couple of runs in the 12th after a two-run home run off the bat of OU's Fale Aviu in the top half of the inning. Lowary, known for her outstanding velocity, was able throw off Florida's hitters with her changeup, especially in the seventh inning. After a pair of outs, Paige Lowary reentered to face Amanda Lorenz.

Barnhill threw several pitches 66 miles per hour and Lowary pitched in the mid-70s. "The adrenaline was there and she was hitting her spots just so confident".

The Sooners (61-9) won their second consecutive national title and third in five years on Tuesday night, topping the Gators 5-4 before a partisan crowd of 8,507 at Hall of Fame Stadium.

Florida coach Tim Walton said he was impressed with his team's resilience.

"I just will never forget this game as long as I live", Mendes said.

If you are a glass half full kind of sports fan, consider this: Seventy-five percent of the teams that win Game 1 in the Women's College World Series go on to win the championship.

"But I told my team in about the - I don't know if it was the eighth [inning] or the 21st, whatever it was - I told them, 'Great job, proud of your guys.' Two outs, two strikes, boom, came back".

Lowary, a transfer from Missouri, settled down and gave up just one more run.

Mendes launched a solo home run to lead off the game.

Florida would cut its deficit to one with a solo homer in the top of the third but could never reach home again.

An Aleshia Ocasio two-out RBI single in the bottom of the fourth gave UF a 1-0 lead. "And it paid off". The Sooners won Game 1 of that series against Alabama (another SEC team), but lost the next two games to finish as runner-up. "So we just tried to answer back". "I don't think I'll ever play in a game like this ever again". Florida finished with 249 pitches to Oklahoma's 247.

"It was a team decision", Gasso said.

"Florida just kept answering everything we put out there", Gasso said.